And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that Mother Nature really smiled on Allamakee County as Ragbrai ended over the weekend.

Temperatures were moderate and there was no rain. In late July, heavy thunderstorms and readings in the 90s are always a possibility. As a result of the excellent conditions, the sponsoring Des Moines Register declared this the most beautiful ride of them all. Newspapers and TV, for example, showed the light fog turned early Saturday morning’s landscape into a sort of a French impressionist painting effect. And the shots of the Mississippi River near the power plant in Lansing were fantastic!

All of which proves again that we who live here sometimes seem to take it for granted.

I avoided the activities as much as I could, feeling I would only be in the way at my age.

But some things could not be avoided. There were bicycles even in my somewhat remote area of the city, and the music from the Friday night concert downtown was unavoidable with a northeast wind! But it ended at a decent time.

I ventured out for some errands early Saturday afternoon, the parade having moved on. First thing I noticed were the Porta-Potty sentinels (is that a trademark?) that remained in groups. And when I tried to enter Allamakee Street from First Avenue, traffic was backed up to north of the funeral home, and since only four or five cars can get thru the intersection light at Allamakee and Main from the north, I elected to turn into and out of the parking lot and try another route. There were trucks in the traffic coming to collect tents, etc. and trucks take even longer.

We got some nice publicity out of it, and a lot of work obviously went into it.

Is once per generation enough for the spectacle?

An article in this morning’s paper blames the World Series wins by the Cubs last fall for a high number of babies born nine months later. My first thought was that I hope labor was not as prolonged as the Cubs’ journey was!

And speaking of baseball, why do parochial (Catholic) high school teams seem to dominate Iowa’s tournaments? If memory serves me right, both 1A and 2 A teams were included, including that Dyersville team which eliminated Waukon. And wasn’t there a Catholic school in both 3A and 4A finals? Anybody care to guess why?

Also in the news this morning was the word that Russia is kicking out several hundred employees of American embassies and consulates in response to additional sanctions. That sounded really serious, until I read further and found out most of them are Russian citizens employed in various ways, and not American foreign service people.

Sometimes the real story is way down from the lede paragraph. “Lede” is the correct word there, courtesy of Chaucer and his crew.

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